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Let’s talk about safe driving this spring

The coming months are the spring season in our schools, often a time of teen happiness with proms and graduation and for some families a time of sorrow due to teen deaths in vehicle accidents…

This is a good time of year for parents to take time to reinforce safe driving habits to their teens in the coming months.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety reported Tuesday that the past three years recorded an average of 30 teens kill in April, May and June in vehicle accidents.

The majority of those killed (69 percent) during that spring period were not buckled up, according to state officials.

Traffic deaths remain the leading cause of death for Minnesota teens year-round as well.

In the past three years, an average of 103 teen (age 13-19 years old) motorists died in traffic accidents. A 65 percent majority were not wearing their seat belts.

The poor seat belt usage rate, driver inexperience, risk-taking and distractions all play a role in teen driver accidents.

The time to talk with teen drivers does not stop when they get their license. That is the time to really continue those safe driving lessons, as the first year of driving for teens poses the greatest danger.

State officials encourage parents and caregivers to take the time to talk with their teens about the importance of seat belt use, to reinforce teen driving laws, and set their own family driving rules.

This advice can help teens and their families have a safe and happy spring. — West Central Tribune of Willmar